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Theology > Jesus > Christ's Death > The Shedding of Blood  


Without the shedding of blood
there is no forgiveness.
Heb. 9:22

Through His Revelation God gives to us an absolute concept. It is lucid and without fear of misunderstanding. The options are simple: acceptance of the concept, or rejection of the concept.

Man’s reasoning would not make this association, the association of forgiveness with spilt blood. Inevitably man feels exercised in varying degrees by his sense of uncleanness and inward responsibility for his sinful ways; it is an awareness or consciousness that cannot be denied and will not dissipate. It may fade to the back of the mind, but events bring it front and center. The point is that when this overwhelming sense of unworthiness controls the thinking, the solution is not associated with blood and death. Always the thought is: I must do something to assuage my guilt or reform my conduct. The emphasis is upon personal action.

But the Truth of the Scriptures is that there is nothing that man can do; something must be done for him. In the transaction man is passive—he is not active. On his behalf there must be blood and death: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

What is the significance of blood? Why is blood important? Wherein resides its worth? These are not idle questions—a very specific answer is given in the Scriptures. At the time of Noah God gives the meaning of blood; He proclaims: “You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Gen. 9:4). The life is the blood; the blood is the life. Blood and life are synonymous. To lose one is to lose the other.

Through Moses the truth is repeated and given even greater clarity. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls” (Lev. 17:11). The blood is associated with sacrifice, particularly and specifically the sacrifice of atonement, because the blood is the life. To lose the blood is to sacrifice the life. When the blood of the animal it spilt, it means that the life of the animal has been given up in death. The blood of the animal on the altar is the life of the animal on the altar.

Also through Moses blood is associated with the covenant, meaning the Book of the Covenant. The blood of oxen was sprinkled on the people after being sprinkled on the altar, signifying the cleansing of the people from sin in order that they might enter into covenant with the Lord and thereby keep the commandments of God. This blood is called “the blood of the covenant” (Ex. 24:8).

In the New Testament Jesus speaks of a New Covenant: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Lu. 22:20; see: I Cor. 11:25). The blood of Christ—the life of Christ—is associated with a covenant. In Hebrews this covenant is “the everlasting covenant”  (13:20). It is the Covenant of salvation that is secured with the blood of Christ.

Note the references to the blood of Christ in the New Testament, remembering that each time the reference is to the life of Christ that was given up in death:

Take heed to yourselves . . . to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28);

Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood (Rom. 3:25);

Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Rom.  5:9);

In Him we have redemption through His blood (Eph. 1:7);

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Eph 2:13);

For it pleased the Father . . . having made peace through the blood of His cross (Col. 1:20);

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb. 9:14; see: vs. 11-28);

. . . without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Heb. 9:22).

boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 10:19);

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate (Heb. 13:12);

sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:2; believers are sprinkled with the blood of Christ, meaning that the blood, the life—the righteousness of Christ—is applied to the believer; and thereby the believer becomes acceptable to God);

the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (I Pet. 1: 19;

the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (I Jo. 1:7);

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 1:5);

These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14);

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (Rev. 12:11).

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